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We're in a rut...

(7 Posts)
SpaceDinosaur Tue 06-Oct-20 11:09:14

DH & I have been together 10yrs, married 4, 2DCs, the newest is 4weeks.

He struggled in lockdown. Really struggled I can now see. His whole industry was furloughed, my industry came to a standstill and I'm self employed too. Fortunately we were still financially secure but my being pregnant, being upset about his not being able to support me at appts and my general worry etc saw him hiding and not sharing his issues with me. Which I feel shit about.

I love him enormously. We have 2 young children. He's an equal partner, an amazing dad. He has a "life" outside of our marriage (mates, sport etc) and I did as well before lockdown. We holiday together, we holiday separately. He have hobbies together and separately. Only I haven't been able to be me properly since Christmas and March (pregnancy and lockdown stopped various aspects)

He works in hospitality and outside of 2020 would work and get home at 4am... so day activities as a family were challenging to arrange. Evenings together were no problem.

We're in a rut. Last night he told me that he feels like we're colleagues at the moment. We're getting everything done and doing it well but there's no "us" at the moment.

I don't know how to help. He's sad. He's not hurrying home from work (despite closing at 10) because he doesn't want to. Which he told me, not out of malice or spite but being honest because he had avoided answering when I asked him previously.

I'm anxious about exposing the baby unnecessary. She's not even had her first vaccinations yet. Whereas with PFB we had everyone over, went out for lunches, went to rehearsals (performer).
My body's wobbly. I haven't danced a class in months and I'm worrying about my husband's mental health. He said he hasn't "sparked" and felt joy/happiness except when he's been playing and spending time with our older child.

He's sad but not clinically so. When he was many years ago his dr was worse than useless so that's not an avenue worth suggesting because she embarrassed him and he clearly wasn't fully honest.

I've got an EBF newborn and I'm not leaving her to go out and do XYZ but I need ideas

OP’s posts: |
LilOldMe Tue 06-Oct-20 11:21:12

Um... I wouldn't blame yourself or take this all on as your problem to fix. What's he doing to solve his issue of feeling like "colleagues" - staying on late after work? How does he propose that will help things?

but my being pregnant, being upset about his not being able to support me at appts and my general worry etc saw him hiding and not sharing his issues with me. Which I feel shit about.

Why do you feel shit about his failure to support you through your pregnancy appointments?! Why do you feel shit about his hiding his feelings from you?

I'm not going all MN "LTB!" but I do feel you're taking on the job of fixing things that are, essentially, his issues. While you also parent two young DC, can't go to work, cope with your body changes, etc..

SpaceDinosaur Tue 06-Oct-20 12:10:38

@LilOldMe he didn't fail to support me at appts, the NHS covid restrictions prevented him from attending and supporting me. I had a stay as an in patient during pregnancy. No visitors. In addition to more appointments and scans than usual owing to complications in a previous pregnancy. I was alone and I am sad about that. He couldn't attend scans or hear the heartbeat and he is sad about that. I had to "fight" to advocate for myself without someone supporting me and we are both sad about that.

If the tables were turned I wouldn't have offloaded my worries and niggles into him at the time either.

OP’s posts: |
SpaceDinosaur Tue 06-Oct-20 12:12:00

Yes. I'll ask what he proposes

But you're right. I am a fixer. I want to help. I want to offer solutions or have ideas because it's how I am.

OP’s posts: |
LilOldMe Tue 06-Oct-20 12:36:41

Do you think the pregnancy stopped him bonding so much with your youngest child as he has with the older one?

So you feel he might have felt helpless and useless during your pregnancy - OK, I get that. But you can easily make him feel vital and useful now. Honestly, it’s easy. Just let him give things to you: advice, orgasms, stuff from the shops, hugs, the TV remote, cups of tea... Men just want to give.

If you’ve been trying to support him/consider his feelings a lot, chances are you’ve absorbed all the giving responsibilities in your relationship- thinking you were making things easier for him, but actually you’ve accidentally just made him feel more useless. That might explain why he’s staying later at work - they need him there. Maybe? Does any of this sound like it might be true?

So just try to receive from him. Don’t even say a word about it, just start happily receiving. He brings you a tea, you look delighted. (At the tea, more than the fact he made it. This isn’t flattery, it’s making him realise how easily he can make you happy.)

He texts from the supermarket, you tell him things you’d love to have. Your printer breaks down, you just go, “Oh man! The printer’s broken! I have shit to print and now I can’t!” and leave it to him to fix, then you print out 10,000 pages and look delighted.

Let him feel what a positive affect he has on your whole life. Don’t make decisions. Let him pick up the stressy stuff. Create spaces where he can step in and be amazing.

That’s what I’d do. Interestingly, I never did any of that with my first DH and we were really miserable. I do this all the time with my second DH as he’s really the most helpful man in the universe, and we’re happy. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I know I’m going to get slated on here though! 😂

SpaceDinosaur Tue 06-Oct-20 15:03:30

@LilOldMe that's really interesting.

I do typically do and solve things myself I'm not usually a "please can you" I just crack on... I fixed the washing machine yesterday whilst he was home...

Ok. I'll try enabling him to participate more in the boring stuff (that feels like a better way of phrasing it!) and being more vulnerable to him. I definitely became "harder" so I could deal with all the medical crap on my own and he's probably feeling less essential than he would have been to me.

OP’s posts: |
LilOldMe Tue 06-Oct-20 16:12:01

Just try it for a week. I like doing mini experiments. It breaks the rut.

Remember, Create spaces where he can step in and be amazing. Does he cook? If he’s working in hospitality I wondered if he’s a chef? Maybe a bartender?

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